Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Movie Review: Morgan

Once again, I’d like to state my protest that a movie entitled ‘Morgan’ that doesn’t have Morgan Freeman in it is inherently false advertising. The man is in practically everything. That notwithstanding, a new movie came out, could be placed in the horror genre, so, I saw it. I know, cover your shocked face. Unlike last week’s surprisingly white and disturbing Don’t Breathe, there was a tad more diversity in this movie, but the story wasn’t nearly as griping as it could or should have been.

There was a great article last week from The New Yorker about women in movies being personified as these perfect beings, created by man. This is no exception. Morgan is a test tube experiment. A five year old experiment that looks to be a teenager. An incident occurs and someone has to come in to assess whether the experiment is viable (can live) or must be ended (terminated). The agent, played by Kate Mara, is also working with, so to speak, a psychologist, played by Paul Giamatti. From the moment Kate Mara’s Lee Weathers graces the screen, something seems off about her. There are subtle places where she just seems more awkward than usual, but as a viewer, you brush it off, at first. It isn’t too far into the movie where I suspected what turned out to be true.

There may be SPOILERS ahead. Morgan is your typical teenager. There is clearly something wrong with her. The first scene she’s in, she stabs someone in the eye and doesn’t seem quite bothered by it. Her answers to Weathers, at first, seem coached, like she knows she needs to respond a certain way. There is a small element of clairvoyance being employed, but it isn’t enough for her to see that her rash anger bout will cost her everything. The cast of characters around them fits pretty every much avenue one might imagine for a cast of about ten. There’s the smart Asian, the organized African American project manager, the white guy chef who hits on everyone, the inter-racial couple (white man, black woman) and the obligatory Lebanese woman. The diversity can’t be complained about, suffice it to say, the first person to be killed is a white man, so that almost made me feel better about the representation, until Morgan goes on a killing spree leaving, surprise, the white chef and Lee Weathers (of course) alive, while taking the Lebanese woman hostage. Basically, the whites make it to the race.

What isn’t apparent, but sort of is, is that Morgan is a newer model of what Lee Weathers is. As the movie closes, the voice over, of three white men in business suits, are deciding that all genetic engineering will continue to pace with the Weathers version of the model. The larger debate the movie should be making is about white men, once again, controlling everything in the world, using women to their own ends. What I would have liked to see is Weathers destroying them, as a true kiss off to trying to control others. The movie sort of fell flat as it went on. There wasn’t a lack of action, but there was a lack of heart. Weathers was quite bland and that made for a  great science experiment, once the audience was given that peak behind the curtain, but it made for most of the story being blah. For $6, I’d see it, but that’s the best I can offer.

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